lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-09-12 04:38 pm

Book Log 2017 #fuck knows - Pandora's Star

*Finally* finished Pandora's Star by Peter F Hamilton.... was great, but could definitely have lost a few hundred pages without losing any quality or style points. (The alien origins would actually make a great background for Maurice Hurley's original version of the Borg)

And it's only the first half, ending on a cliffhanger to a second doorstop (Judas Unchained)...

Though I'm desperately keen to find out how things play out in that, I'm even more desperate (having been reading this fucker since about April) for a change of pace - and, to be fair, it was brand new I'd have a year or so to wait for the conclusion's release anyway, so I'm definitely willing to spare a couple of months to read something else entirely different... But, yeah, was great to read some proper SF again after a few years.
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
2017-07-30 12:14 pm

Oh fuck this

Oh, whoop di fucking do. Lesley wants to drag me to some fucking local Lions club barbecue, which I don't want to do cos I've little interest, too much shit to get done before going away, and it's a grand prix.

And now I'm not going to get the grand prix or Game Of Thrones this week, because thanks to some useless Indian cunt on Sky's customer service line giving me shit advice on switching my payment date, I just lost our Sky channels in mid-programme about 10 minutes ago, and it won't let me set up a new direct debit until I pay where I left off, which I can't do until Friday - when I'm going away to spend a week camping on ground that should be nice and muddy from a couple of weeks' worth of solid fucking rain. (This means I'll probably be gone before the service is restored and so will miss the following week's GoT as well)

So overall I'm not in a good mood, not fucking sociable, and of course Lesley's telling me not to ruin her day or her Raglan because everything is so fucked and I'm going to have listen to bunch of twats nattering about shit I'm not interested in a rainy barbecue on a day when I should be doing more practical shit...

So life is fucking great, isn't it?
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-07-25 07:39 pm

Book Log Interruption

Ah, reached a suitable chapter end in Pandora's Star where I can hear cliffhanger music, and go read something else for a break... I'll come back to Chapter 12 later...

Of course now I have to decide what to read in between, before taking Pandora's Star to Raglan...
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
2017-07-20 02:23 pm

For those wondering where the book log posts have gone recently

Hm, I guess I'll have to give up on that endless Peter F Hamilton book (Pandora’s Star) after all, and find something else to read - mainly because, in moving stuff around and packing for Raglan, Lesley has disappeared it...(I last saw it in the bathroom at the weekend, and it's not there now...)

ETA - Oh wait, yeah, as soon as I posted that then I found it - wrapped up in a dressing gown. I'm still not even half way in, and tempted to find a suitable chapter to stop at as a cliffhanger just so I can read something else for variety...
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
2017-05-02 08:35 pm

Reading fail

*sigh* That thing where you're struggling with a book, confused by stuff even though it's claiming to be the first of a trilogy, and then discover this is because it's actually the first book of a *sequel* trilogy and you haven't read the previous set... Bollocks.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-04-25 11:32 pm

Book Log 2017 - #11 - Fashion Beast

#11 – FASHION BEAST by Alan Moore & Facundo Percio
This is a comics version of an unmade script that Moore wrote from a story by Malcolm McLaren in 1985, basically their take on Beauty And The Beast. It's set in a city where the fashion houses rule the impoverished populace, there's a mysterious designer, a girl needing a job, a pair of Ugly Sisters of sorts.... I know bugger all about the fashion biz, but it definitely strikes a chord with the way people follow designer labels and the cult of celebrity. It's definitely good, and the art by Percio is great. I suspect that, if made as a movie in 1985, it would have been really, really shit, and if made as a movie now it would probably be pretty damn good (albeit condemned by Moore as propaganda of the evil Military/Entertainment Complex.) Definitely worth seeking out this graphic novel collection from Avatar Press (collecting the 10-issue series).
lonemagpie: 10Doc whats (wtf)
2017-04-09 04:57 pm

Book Log 2017 - #9 - Sting Of the Zygons


With my head stuffed with a cold, and feeling all dizzy, I felt like some lightweight comfort-reading, and Dr Who with some old monsters fits the bill nicely. A fun period romp with Ten and Martha, and good use of the Zygons a few years before their return to TV.

I did have a weirded out moment when the plot gets on to a missing maid called Clara, immediately making me think of all those lives of the Impossible Girl, even though this book came out in 2007 (yeah, I had to look at the copyrights page to check, I'm that sad), so it seems oddly prophetic as well!
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
2017-04-06 03:46 pm

Book Log 2017 - #9 - Eight Million Ways To Die

EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE by LAWRENCE BLOCK: One of the Matt Scudder books, and in this case the one which goes properly full-length (the previous four or so were much shorter) and sets the lead character on a path of actual development. Not bad at all- the plot holds together, the clues are there for the reader to work out what actually happened and why, and as always there's an air of reality to NYC in it for thoseof us who have never been there. Downsides were a few too many repetitive stops at AA meetings, and the fact that the actual killer (even when we've worked out what's going on) is a new character who only appears for the two or three paragraphs of his revelation, and this is a bad trait for a whodunnit to have. Still, very good otherwise.
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
2017-04-02 07:24 pm

Odd weekend

Odd, how normally it’s dates you remember, but sometimes it’s days instead, and then sometimes one of those gets connected to the other unexpectedly, and throws you, so you get thrown off-plan not on the one you usually expect.

Quite aside from connecting an actual date to an event I usually associate with Easter, Yesterday’s ITDOV put a thought in my head that I know is bollocks and my brain trying to fuck me up by needling, but which I could really do without. Anybody got some Retcon or a Blue Rose, or… I dunno, a mallet…?

(Let me put it this way, yesterday I was looking at Brexit stories to feel *less* down…)
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
2017-03-27 01:53 pm

Book Log 2017 - #8 - The Hidden Oasis

THE HIDDEN OASIS by Paul Sussman. A real mixed bag. After intriguing first half dozen pages, absolutely fuck all happens for the next 170 (to the point that I almost gave up on it and did start just skimming). Then the chase-thriller plot that was advertised actually starts, and it's... OK. Nothing special. Better than Matthew Reilly, not as good as Cussler or Andy McDermott in the action fun stakes. For most of it, this is a racing smugglers to some stolen uranium kind of gig. Then in the last 120 pages or so, it jumps the shark into full-on random supernatural impossibility, which seems to have wandered in from a completely different book altogether and doesn't fit with what's gone on so far in this one. Throw in uninteresting characters and dialogue, and into the charity shop bag it goes.
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
2017-02-28 10:57 pm

The worst thing in the world, though

is watching loved ones suffer and not being able to... save them.
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
2017-02-28 10:56 pm


Separate from the events of the convention, the weekend was interesting test of the state of my health. Not having control what's in the stuff I eat, coupled with a buggering up of routine, and random rather than programmed amounts of activity and stresses meant my blood sugar was all over the place (not into dangerous levels, but inconvenient) - so I must watch out for that any time I'm away having meals in hotels for multiple days.

I also at one point was looking for a particular person, was pointed to where he was, and, because of the colour of his jacket in a dark room with flashing coloured lights, walked straight past him because I literally couldn't see him in that colour/shade environment of a disco. Which means I think, even with the eyesight improvement, next time they ask if I want to register as partially sighted I might actually agree to do it.

I also know a lot of people who have mobility issues and lack of spoons, and was somewhat shocked, to see by direct interaction and comparison, that by Sunday evening I was as bad (with my left foot, whose heel I busted 30 years ago, as well as the blood thing). Cos I'm usually fairly... Able. I mean, I run around fencing and fighting in medieval armour, for fuck's sake...

So, I have to admit, though the panels and talks and stuff I did at the convention were great fun, health-wise that was a pretty disatrous weekend.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-02-27 11:30 pm

Book Log 2017 - #7 - Chronicles Of Conan 1

I've been at Redemption 17 since Thursday, but before that finished The Chronicles Of Conan 1: Tower Of The Elephant And Other Stories. This is a collection (by Dark Horse) of the first 8 issues of Marvel's Conan The Barbarian from back in the day ( written by Roy Thomas, with Barry Smith's art nicely upgraded for smooth modern paper by Digital Chameleon). It was good fun, apart from Conan's silly two-horned helmet. The writing takes a strange tone of telling us what's happening in the panels, as if we couldn't see, and is filled with REH-style florid voerbosity - and somehow it works, even though we an see what's happening. So, good fun.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-02-17 12:32 pm

Book Log 2017 - #6 - The Laughing Corpse: Animator

ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER: THE LAUGHING CORPSE – ANIMATOR by Laurell K Hamilton and Ron Lim. This is a hardback graphic novel adaptation of the second Anita Blake novel, which I'd got free as a handout at a convention a couple of years ago. I know nothing about the series – thought it was one of thse cliched things for teenage girls, but actually this isn't bad at all (well, there's the appearance of vampire master Jean-Claude, but I suspect he's meant to take the piss out of the whole Anne Rice subgenre), and jumping on without knowing the first book wasn't a problem – it was pretty much self contained, with any necessary background exposition slotted in. It's a sort of police procedural mystery thing with zombies and vampires, and felt tonally very like the Harry Dresden books, which is a good thing. The art is nice too. What's not nice is that it collects five issues of comic and ends on “to be continued in The Laughing Corpse- Necromancer” which I haven't got. Still, it does actually make me wonder if the novels are of of a similar Dresden-ish tone, and so I may have to try one if I see one...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-02-14 04:28 pm

Book Log 2017 - #5 - Allegiance

ALLEGIANCE by Timothy Zahn. A spot of Star Wars, set between Episodes IV and V. Entertaining fun, though felt like generic space opera with added insistence on all the make and model numbers of equipment. Mara Jade's detective element was best – though at this point she's supposed to be 18 and already a superheroine who's just too fair and good to be working so well with Vader and Palpatine – with the Stormtrooper squad also providing fun – they should have done a series with them as the Rainbow Six to her Jack Ryan. The Luke/Han/Leia stuff didn't really sit that well, and I think things would have been tauter without them being in... But still, good fun.

I feel some comics reading coming on next, now that my eyes have recovered enough to handle dialogue balloons on coloured backgrounds again...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-01-21 01:16 am

Book Log 2017 - Gravity

GRAVITY by Tess Gerritsen. That wasn't bad – probably more surprising for her regular medico-thriller readers than an SF reader, but it did necely genre-straddle, being legitimately hard SF as well as a medical thriller thing (which isn't my general reading material, and less likely to become so these days).

There was some predictability in there, and characterisation not so great – I didn't really get an image or voice for anyone – and the use of Chekhov's Gun was frequent and obvious from the get go. OTOH, the plot, moved along nice and smoothly, even if I found myself skimming the bits where the estranged couple each don't want to get divorced but everything they say makes the other think that they do want it.

As an aside, no, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the film Gravity, bar the title and the ISS. Overall... It was OK. I dunno that I'd look out for other Gerritsen books generally, but I'd read a sequel to this if there was one.
lonemagpie: Craig icon (007)
2017-01-06 01:06 pm

Call it a return to work...

Ah, another of those "not a resolution, but a normal thing I've now been restored enough to get back to" that today (being Twelfth Night, and the decorations are down) is appropriate to go back to- the minimum daily word count, put ahead of hobbies and stuff, certain people (who I'm married to, especially) take note. Traditionally it was 2000 words, but has historically varied up past 5-6k when I was on a roll, albeit not for about 18 months.

So... (Well, I say that, but have surgeries again next weekend, so fuck knows how efficiently this'll work, depending on what they do then.)
lonemagpie: Jake and Elwood (blues brothers)
2017-01-06 12:45 pm

Book Log 2017 - Minions and Festive Feasts

#2- DESPICABLE ME MINIONS ANNUAL 2017. Yeah, another Xmas novelty I got. I do love Minions, and this is an all-Minion volume. There are assorted little puzzles and stuff which should be fun for the kiddies, some nice cartoons, an a brief novelisation (of sorts) of The Minions movie. The main feature is some 3D Minions card kits, which are pretty good, though they do come out more squared and angular than the rounded Minions we know...

#3 HORRIBLE HISTORIES' FESTIVE FEASTS by Terry Deary. Less of a novelty, but just to round off the Xmas-themed reading... Well, basically it's a Horrible Histories book- we all know what that means: nice easily-digestible chunks of interesting and amusing historical tidbits, largely addressed to 8-12 year-olds, but pretty much appealing to all ages. This one isn't specifically about foods or feasts at Christmas, but covers lots of seasonal facts and customs, in the typical HH style. Not really anything I didn't already know, but then again, I've done a fair bit of research on the subject for another book, so there's bound to be quite a bit that's new to most people. And since it's so readable, it makes an ideal dip-into sort of thing (e.g. what we here call a bog-book, cos it's handy for something to look at while sat on one) more than a page-turning novel sort of thing. But fun.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
2017-01-05 10:50 pm

Book Log 2017 - Mr Mid-Life Crisis And Friends

MR MID-LIFE CRISIS AND FRIENDS by Jack Collier & Sarah Lawrence. OK, so it's a little novelty thing of few pages that Lesley gave me for Xmas, with a page each on several dubious modern middle-aged Mr Men – Mr Mid-Life Crisis, Mr Shed, Mr Geek, etc – which are quite amusing and fit well with the “official” Mr Men books today. Thankfully I don't seem to fit any of them quite that much, though I do share with Mr Commuter the pleasure in watching others try to find a seat after I've got one. Mind you, the best entry in it is one Lesley wrote on the inside of the back cover...
Normally I wouldn't bother posting about such a short novelty, but I wanted to get more books read and a more regular book log back as early as possible this year, not as a New Year resolution of the “oh, I must get back into the habit of reading more,” but as reaffirmation of being able to read properly again, in the sense of my eyes being able to distinguish normal text on a printed page – because there was a point last April/May when my sight had degraded to the point where I couldn't.
So, anyway, there's the first finishing of 2017. Which really should have been Tess Gerritsen's Gravity, but I'm struggling with that due to it being boring, and also wanted to read something new in the New Year, rather than be slogging through something I started a month ago...
lonemagpie: if only (by me)
2017-01-01 06:20 pm

A New Year tradition

Time to fulfil a regular New Year tradition and write a least a line of something new as a start as a I mean to go on thing... Though this time it's a couple of short pieces anyway, so...